Here are the facts: I'm a mom of three kids (4 if you add the husband). For survival, we must eat and drink in our car....often. Today after school my son runs up to the car in a panic, "John is coming with us! Can you please CLEAN YOUR CAR!!"
What? It wasn't that messy? It was....disruptive...? Papers from school, backpacks, kid books, magazines for the gym, unused coupons, articles of clothing from the kid’s sports and playground activities. What's the big deal? It's not like I had sour milk soaked in the carpet (that happened many times before, and even I don't want to get into my car) So I did my best cleaning up everyone’s things. In a car with no cabinets to hide stuff, I piled the crap nicely into sections.
My son and his friend climbed into the car. My child had an embarrassed attitude. I waited 5 minutes before I asked our guest, "Hey Johnny? Does this car smell funny to you?"
My son went into a zesty vent, "Mom! You can't ask him that! He's not going to tell you! I was with Mr. Maren and he asked ME the same question and I said, 'no, your car smells great!' But in truth his car smelled like CRAP."
My ten year old was behaving like a bitter sensitive man of forty. I wanted to laugh, I wanted to argue, instead I let the silence lay there.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion," I told my ten year old later. "If you help an do your share all the time consistently, it's only then you can complain about the lack of others helping."
Course I said all this to him as we stood over his dirty clothes 3 feet from the hamper. He said, "Okay" turned and stepped over his clothes on the floor as he walked away. "Excuse me?" I pointed back to his clothes. "Oh..." he said as he bent over to pick up his things.
Really? It’s true. I’m raising a man.